Book Reviews · Reading

REVIEW: El Deafo by Cece Bell

41v58xl9-ll-_sx332_bo1204203200_Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.

Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school–in the hallway…in the teacher’s lounge…in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different… and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.

My thoughts:

  • The artwork is this graphic novel is GORGEOUS! I absolutely loved that all the characters were animals, and the colourful cheery art style of really helped set the tone for El Deafo.
  • The story was VERY compelling. I really loved seeing Cece’s triumphs and struggles over quite a large period of her childhood. I especially liked how the book presented her struggles with friends, and their reactions to her being hearing impaired–it was fascinating.
  • I adored the insight we got into Cece. This was probably the most personal graphic novel I’ve ever read, and when I finished it I was not only really satisfied with the story, but also completely in love with the character of Cece.
  • I also absolutely loved the interludes with El Deafo, the superhero Cece creates. I thought they were laugh-out-loud-funny, beautifully illustrated and great story pauses.
  • Because this is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel, the structure of this story was initially a little jarring–there is no build up and climatic ending. However, the structural style grew on me, and by the end of the book, I really enjoyed it.
  • Overall, this book was fantastic. Funny and heartwarming, educational and entertaining, and of course, beautiful. If you love graphic novels, or kidlit with heart, or just fancy a change in your reading pile, I really recommend this gorgeous book. 

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: El Deafo by Cece Bell

  1. I LOVE stories with adorableness! In the case of this one, it seems like to be a fable with meaningful allegories, which is always a nice thing to have and read! Thanks for sharing your thoughts 😀

    Great review!

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